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Ear Training and Children’s Music

March 4, 2011

I am the eldest of three, with an almost six year gap between myself and my youngest sibling.  Obviously a lot of development happens in those first six years of life, which left my parents and I listening to a lot of children’s music.  At one point my hatred for Baby Beluga became so prominent that when the CD disappeared my parents disciplined me quite severely, only later to find that it fell behind a shelf.  Not that I’m still bitter or anything.  But I still despise that CD–“Baby beluga in the deep blue sea, spins so wild and spins so free” oh please, give me some real music.   Unfortunately this was the tip of the ice burg for children’s music growing up.  The rest consisted of young children singing horribly out of tune twinkles and ba-ba black sheep to really basic guitar chords.

As a Suzuki teacher I feel the need to put my foot down.  Having your child listen to out of tune music hinders their ear training.  Is this obvious to anyone else?  The music is painful!  And when we hold those horrid notes to be CD worthy, what are we training their young ears to listen for?  Kids learn how to match pitches fairly easily-do you want to make your kids tone deaf?

I had the chance to meet up with a former babysitter of mine this past week.   She now has her own little one who adores music.  He walks around with his little CD player and changes out the CDs himself.  We commiserated on the pitiful array of children’s music.  I even volunteered to record an album for their little one–some IN TUNE nursery rhymes and lullabies.   But luckily for my schedule, I ran into an NPR article on children’s music that led me to, a blog that critiques children’s music.  Brace yourselves, there is some pretty cool stuff out there.

Saddle up your horses kids, this is some seriously good music.  Brady formerly shared the stage with the likes of Bob Dylan and Dave Matthews.(I’m rocking out to the music on his site as I type–I love this stuff!)

Here’s a newsflash: the Grammys have a children’s music category!

After growing up in a veggie tales generation, I have a soft spot for Veggie Rocks.  My personal favorites are the News Boys singing “In the Belly of the Whale”, Reliant K “The Pirates Who Don’t do Anything” and “Promised Land” by Sanctus Real.

Ziggy Marley has a delightful album entitled “Family Time” that has a definite jamaican twist.

As for classical-lets not promote the idea of ‘boring’ being synonymous with ‘classical’ for the next generation.

For upbeat music try:

Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1 (I love Lang Lang’s recording)

Ravel Quartet

Mussorgsky/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition -Tuileries, Ballet of the Chickens are some favorites

For Lullabies:

Ahn Trio Lullaby for my Favorite Insomniac

Helen Callus Portrait of the Viola

For Soundtracks:

Honestly, I think soundtracks just keep getting better.

Check out Mr. Magorioum’s Wonder Emporium

Toy Story 3?

Get creative-what are your child’s favorite movies?


From → Media, Music

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